Little Fires EverywhereTitle: Little Fires Everywhere

Author: Celeste Ng

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

The Blurb

The brilliant new novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller, Everything I Never Told You

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town – and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost…

The Review

I had heard only good things about Little Fires Everywhere and so I was very excited to read this story that people were raving about. It is the story of the intricacies of small town America; a place where white picket fences and freshly mown lawns are the norm. It is also about the differences in the social hierarchy and how having money doesn’t automatically make you a good person.

Celeste Ng has pipped two very strong matriarchs against each other: Mia and Elena. It is there opposing lives that is the most interesting conflict in Little Fires Everywhere. That and how far each will go to do what they think is right. Celeste Ng presents her characters as people who sometimes seem pious but there good intentions are often self-serving.

I thoroughly enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere. It was not the kind of novel I would normally pick up but it shows the power of reviews that I was compelled to pick it up. I am awfully glad I did.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is available now.

For more information regarding Celeste Ng (@pronounced-ing) please visit www.celesteng.com.

For more information regarding Little, Brown Book Group (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

4 Stars

Seven Days of UsTitle: Seven Days of Us

Author: Francesca Hornak

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK/Piatkus Books

The Blurb

Seven Days of Us is the only family drama you need to read this Christmas. It will warm you up, make you cry, but ultimately leave you feeling fabulous. For fans of One DayLove Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

A week is a long time to spend with your family…

It’s Christmas, and the Birch family are coming together at their second home in Norfolk. Emma and Andrew’s daughter, Olivia, is back for the first time in years, and while Emma is elated, her younger, more frivolous daughter Phoebe is braced for inevitable clashes.

But aid worker Olivia is only home because she has nowhere else to go. Having recently returned from Africa, where she’s been treating a life-threatening virus, she has been instructed to stay in quarantine for a week, and so, too should her family.

For the next seven days, no one can leave the house, and no one can enter.

It doesn’t sound too hard. But a week with your nearest and dearest can feel like an eternity, especially when they’re all harbouring secrets.

One of whom is about to come knocking on their door..

The Review

In a classic Lisa move, I chose to read Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak because I liked the pretty cover. If you look at the cover and think that it may be the best thing about the book then you will be wrong. Very wrong.

Seven Days of Us is a story that focuses on the family dynamic. In particular, the dynamic when put in a compromising situation. In this case, a seven day quarantine over Christmas. Told from multiple perspectives we see just how difficult familial relationships are.

Olivia is struggling with normal life after working as an aid worker in Africa. She can’t adjust to regular life and how her family are just not affected by world issues like she is. Her sister Phoebe whose life centres around the nicer things in life who thinks that Olivia needs to accept that not everyone is as socially conscious as she wants them to be. Andrew, the father, who doesn’t have the best relationship with Olivia or his wife Emma; he is struggling with a 30 year old secret that is about to be revealed to his family and shake its very foundations. And Emma who is just trying to hold her family together and who is harbouring a life changing secret herself.

Seven Days of Us is so much more than your average novel set at Christmas. It is heartbreaking, all consuming and all too easy to relate to. Families are difficult to manoeuvre and Francesca Hornak has displayed this so well. You feel like you are a secret extra member of the family who is privy to all the pitfalls of family life and the confident to all the characters.

It was a wonderful read and has personally made me excited for future books from Francesca Hornak.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak is available now.

For more information regarding Francesca Hornak (@FrancescaHornak) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Little, Brown Book Group UK (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

For more information regarding Piatkus (@PiatkusBooks) please visit www.piatkusbooks.net.

4 Stars

We'll Always Have ParisTitle: We’ll Always Have Paris

Author: Sue Watson

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Little Brown UK

The Blurb

Does first love deserve a second chance?

When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder ‘what if’ . . .

Told with warmth, wit and humour, We’ll Always Have Paris is a charming, moving and uplifting novel about two people; the choices they make, the lives they lead and the love they share.

The Review

When I was fourteen, my best friend Ana and I decided that if we hadn’t met the man we loved and we weren’t married by the time we were 21 then we would join the army. 21 came round sooner than we cared to believe and rather than following through with our pact we shrugged our shoulders and carried on. We didn’t join the army and now at 32 we are both still unmarried. You may be wondering why I have prefaced my review with this anecdote but it is to highlight that the concept of time is often skewed by age.

In a sense, this is the point that underpins Sue Watson’s new novel We’ll Always Have Paris. Protagonist Rosie has recently been widowed and after a period of mourning she has decided that she needs to make changes in her life. This is made more evident when she bumps into her first love, Peter; the man who, at the tender age of seventeen, broke her fragile heart. Is this fate giving Rosie, at the age of 64, a second chance?

We’ll Always Have Paris is lovely. It is a story that reminds us that love has no boundaries – certainly not age – and that we should grab any chance given to us with both hands. Watson delicately handles the shift in family dynamics when someone dies. She deals with the pain and anxiety of losing a husband and a parent and the uncertainty when family members move on with their lives. It is a difficult issue sensitively handled.

We’ll Always Have Paris is a lovely story. It has heart, romance and truthfulness to it and I would thoroughly recommend it as your next summer read.

We’ll Always Have Paris by Sue Watson is available now.

For more information regarding Sue Watson (@suewatsonwriter) please visit www.suewatsonbooks.com.

For more information regarding Little Brown UK (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

35 Stars